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Hughes Police Dept. to be reactivated


State board votes to allow department to return to active status

By Ralph Hardin

It has been a roller-coaster ride for the small community of Hughes and its struggle to maintain police protection.

Things are looking up, however, for the beleaguered town, as the Hughes Police Department is set to be reactivated less than one month after it was removed from service, according to a statement released last week by the Arkansas Department of Public Safety.

The City of Hughes, a rural St. Francis County town with a population of about 1,000 residents, whose children attend West Memphis Public School District schools, saw its police department designated “not in compliance” and removed from active service last month.

According to the department, the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training (CLEST) voted to reactivate the Hughes Police Department during their regular May meeting.

CLEST deactivated the department in April, stating it was “out of compliance with Arkansas law enforcement standards.”

“My administration has been working with ‘standards’ to have our department returned to active status as soon as possible,” Mayor Lincoln Barnett said. “Of course, that does take some time.”

CLEST agents reportedly met with Barnett on April 19 to discuss bringing the department back into compliance.

Details regarding the meeting were not publicly released.

The Arkansas Department of Public Safety says Barnett “detailed actions taken to resolve non-compliance” during last Thursday’s meeting.

The Commission reportedly unanimously voted to reinstate the police department, with the reopening process to begin immediately.

Photo courtesy of ADPS

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